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4 years ago

BeyondPod updated with Jelly Bean fixes and UI improvements


One of the front runners in podcast apps, BeyondPod, received a notable update in the Play Store today. The bulk of the changelog is focused on improvements in UI and usability, which is always welcome. The general player and playlist UI has received a bit of polish, with better use of gradients and shadowing to properly highlight unplayed shows. Additionally, the player notification -- provided you're on Android 4.0 and above -- has received a facelift, offering better playback controls. Under the hood improvements in streaming, downloading and bug fixes are also included.

While BeyondPod is powerful, it sometimes runs into a predicament, walking the line between offering a lot of functionality and being overwhelming with too many options. This update works to help with that problem, making some of the UI elements more intuitive.

More: Full changelog

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4 years ago

Modern Combat 3 goes international on Major League Gaming, celebrates with 99-cent sale


Shooter game fans will be happy to hear that Gameloft's big-name title Modern Combat 3 is on sale today for a buck to commemorate its international launch on Major League Gaming. Unfortunately, Gameloft's other MLG title, N.O.V.A. 3, isn't on sale, but the competition for it is open internationally now as well. The first rounds started off in mid-August, but were limited in geography. Since then, they've been dishing out $250 first place prizes every two weeks or so, with $150 going to second, $50 to third, and an extra $50 to the top Xperia player. Players can link up their Gameloft and MLG accounts so stats get recorded quickly and accurately. 

Mobile has been skirting around this competitive circuit for awhile now, thanks in no small part to Sony since the launch of the Xperia Play and the PlayStation Mobile brand. Gameloft has been pushing their two big-name titles to the forefront of mobile MLG, and thanks to them we could in time see an interesting new segment of hardcore video gaming emerge. No doubt the upcoming Heroes of Order and Chaos will follow closely in the competitive footsteps of League of Legends and Dota 2. 

Any gamers out there play competitively on other platforms? Maybe some StarCraft II, or Counter-Strike? Anyone interested in getting involved with MLG can hit up their mobile site. Modern Combat 3 is on sale for today only, so get downloadin'

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4 years ago

Camera Zoom FX app updated with UI overhaul and new features


One of the more popular photography apps on Google Play, Camera Zoom FX, has been updated with a brand-spanking-new user interface, and a whole bunch of new features. Here's the partial changelog for version 4.0.

  • Portrait mode
  • Brightness, exposure, ISO, metering
  • Horizon indicator
  • Stable indicator
  • Golden spiral grid
  • Pinch zoom
  • Prevent screen timeout
  • Light leaks + bokeh
  • New frames: elegant
  • Video switch
  • H/W acceleration
  • Support for xhdpi
  • New custom actions
  • Flip photo

It sounds like the performance has improved significantly, and that's a long list of new features. Any Camera Zoom FX fans out there digging the big update? Which photography apps are you using these days?

Thanks Phil!

More: Weekly photo contests

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4 years ago

Google Wallet site hints at possible multi-platform future


Google’s teasing a new version of its Google Wallet over on the official site, and what's interesting is it might finally be rolling out to non-Android devices.

Upon requesting an invite on the site, you're prompted as to whether you’re using an Android, iOS or “other” device. Can we expect Google Wallet to become more ubiquitous, or perhaps see it in a version for iPhones, BlackBerry devices or Windows Phone?

This could allow you to bring your Google Wallet across different devices. The upcoming Windows 8 phones from HTC and Nokia will bring NFC capability too, although that leaves the iPhone 5 out of the tap-to-pay game for now. Maybe Google Wallet for Apple devices will help with the shopping online part of the story, or replace the Passbook app’s ticket collection function.

Then again, it's possible Google is just gauging interest from users on different platforms. We'll keep you posted on any further developments. In the meantime, hit the comments to share any speculation of your own.

Source: Google Wallet, Thanks, Eli Fried!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile confirms LG Optimus L9 launching on October 31 for $79.99


Today T-Mobile nailed down a launch date and pricing for the LG Optimus L9, a device they announced earlier this month. You'll be able to snag the L9 for $79.99 on a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate starting October 31. You can also get it for $49.99 with their equipment installment plan with 20 equal payments of $15/month. Its most notable feature is an optical character recognition app, but the specs are pretty respectable for a mid-range device.

  • 4.7-inch 540 x 960 display
  • Android 4.0 ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM 
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 2,150 mAh battery

Be sure to check out our hands-on video with the LG Optimus L9 for a closer look. Any T-Mobile customers biting on this one, or are you more interested in something higher end? Anybody that's interested can find the LG Optimus L9 in T-Mobile's online store

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4 years ago

The HTC DLX, batteries and you


We'd never turn down more juice, but is 2500 mAh on a 5-inch device really that low?

Yesterday we brought you the first photos of HTC and Verizon's 5-inch, 1080p Android smartphone, codenamed "DLX," along with a full list of specifications. By any standard, the DLX is a super-high-end phone, packing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU -- generally considered to be the fastest SoC around -- and the highest-resolution phone display available, in the form of a 1080p SuperLCD3 panel. Throw in Verizon's 4G LTE network, and you've got an awful lot of telephone.

One area that's easy for some to find fault with, however, is the battery. Read on to find out why.

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4 years ago

LG India confirms its worst-kept secret, Nexus 4 to be announced Oct. 29


The LG Nexus 4 has been extensively leaked over the past few weeks. We've seen the front, back, sides and even taken a sneaky peek at the phone's internals. Nevertheless, the phone is still officially unannounced, pending a Google event in New York City on Oct. 29.

Today LG's broken its silence on the device, according to reports from Indian news site IBNLive. The site reports that Amit Gujral, Head of Mobile Product Planning for LG India confirmed the device's existence in an interview at an Optimus Vu launch event. "Google will unveil the LG Nexus on October 29 and the phone will be available in the Indian markets by the end of November," Gurjal is reported as saying. He also apparently spilled the beans on the device's hardware, confirming reports of a 4.7-inch display, a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU (presumably a Snapdragon S4) and Android 4.2.

The "LG Nexus," as Gurjal calls it, will be available in India by the end of November, following an unveiling by Google on Oct. 29. That means other territories will likely get the device even earlier in the month. We're not sure this official confirmation was supposed to slip through the net, but in any case, it's one more piece of the 2012 Nexus puzzle. We'll be live from New York City next Tuesday to bring you all the Nexus announcements as they happen!

Source: IBNLive

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4 years ago

Sprint lights up LTE in Chicago suburbs and other markets


Today Sprint announced the activation of 4G LTE networks in Chicago suburbs (Addison, Bolingbrook, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Kankakee, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Palatine, Plainfield), Illinois; Wichita Falls, Texas; New Bedford/Fall River, Massachusetts; and Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas. Combined with other LTE expansions since the initial launch this summer, this brings Sprint's LTE coverage to 32 cities total, which includes Atlanta, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and plenty of others on the way

Sprint recently purchased a controlling stake in Clearwire, which was a necessary step to keep moving forward with their LTE plans. Any Sprint customers in these new markets happy to get some 4G lovin'? How about those of you still left in the dark? How long are you willing to wait for LTE before switching over to the competition?

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Isis NFC payments go live in Austin and Salt Lake City


As expected, the Isis mobile payment system backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon has been launched in Austin and Salt Lake City today. There are currently nine handsets that are ready to roll with the NFC-enabled app, with another 11 on the way before 2013. Verizon has announced that the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD will both be compatible this week. T-Mobile has announced that the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S Relay, and Galaxy S2 will be compatible with Isis. AT&T will also support the GS3, as well as the HTC One X, Exhilarate, LG Escape, and Rugby Pro. As far as credit cards go, American Express, Capital One, and Chase are supported, which might not be enough of a selection for most folks, but it's a start. 

Meanwhile in Canada, Rogers is getting ready to launch their own mobile payment system based on NFC-enabled SIM cards, though it doesn't seem like they'll have the same device restrictions. Apparently we'll be able to pop that SIM into any Rogers phone and the service will work perfectly well once it's rolled out. Anyone interested in getting started with Isis apparently has to get a new SIM card too, though they won't work with rooted devices. 

In any case, Isis will be competing directly with Google Wallet, which makes for some annoying repercussions. it seems like some carriers haven't been shy about blocking Google Wallet in favor of pushing Isis, but why wouldn't Google just kick Isis from the Play Store? One would assume that both sides have already talked the issue to death, but it's hard to see this kind of service not putting some friction between partners. How do you guys think the NFC payments situation will pan out between Google and carriers?

Any locals interested in signing up can check out the Isis home page

Source: Business Wire, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G has root before the phone hits the shelves


The first thing I do with a review phone after I'm finished writing the review is to try to root it. Tonight was that night with the Sprint Optimus G, and it went rather well.

After a bit of Google Translate, I found the root method for the Korean Optimus G and had to try. It's based (either in whole or in part -- I don't read Vietnamese) on the Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean adb restore exploit discovered by Bin4ry and does the job easily.

The November 11 release can't come soon enough. Hit the forums for the details, and stay tuned for that review while it gets its final editing!

How to root the Sprint G Optimus G (Windows only)

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4 years ago

Samsung Nexus 10 reported once again in run up to Google event


Fresh reports from TheNextWeb today add further weight to a possible Nexus 10 tablet unveiling at Google's Oct. 29 "Playground" event.  The site says the 10-inch device, previously known by its codename "Manta," will pack a 2560x1600 display with an iPad-beating pixel density of 300ppi. TNW reports that the "Manta" tablet will be unveiled alongside the extensively-leaked LG Nexus 4 phone and 32GB Nexus 7 tablet. Naturally, Android 4.2 is expected to run on both Nexus 4 and 10 out of the box.

We've been hearing similar whispers privately for the past couple of weeks, including some strong evidence suggesting the 10-inch Nexus tablet will indeed sport a super-high resolution 2560x1600 display.

The Nexus 10 will go up against Apple's iPad and Microsoft's new Windows RT-based Surface tablet, which is set to launch later this month.

Source: TNW

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: The acts of children ...


We're in the tall grass now, boys and girls. We're at that point in the year when Google's got a new Nexus coming down the pike, and the smartphone nerds are getting that annual tingling sensation not felt since puberty, or the release of the previous Nexus. All sanity and logic goes out the window, and drama ensues.

That, of course, brings us to the object of last week's infection, that painfully obvious fake "Sony Nexus X." Make no mistake, folks -- it was pretty clear from the start that it wasn't real. I said as much on Twitter before we published. Others were a bit stronger. Internally, we knew what we were looking at. I was done. But Alex likes to walk through this stuff, and he's got a good eye for debunking, so I gave him the green light. Could our post have been stronger? Perhaps. But I love that British sense of understatement. When our headline called the pictures "dubious," that's code for "utter shite." Make no mistake -- somebody was being polite.

I've never understood why folks throw out reason when it comes to new phones. Some call it "hypebeasting." I call it a pain in our collective asses. Fakes are nothing new, and they all have one thing in common: Frauds like these are perpetrated by feckless children, starved for attention. That's it. And in this case, it's twice as bad as you think. There's the attention the initial fraud receives, and then the added attention of when someone "comes clean," which is to say they own up to having lied, and we should all love them now for no longer lying. Someone should be rewarded for that? That's not what I teach my 6-year-old daughter, who's able to understand why that's wrong. I hate that I'm still talking about this, that I've given it the weight of this column.

But, frankly, I'm glad the kid who wasted his time with all this didn't even realize that we'd called bullshit, and that explained why. And I'm especially glad he didn't list us as his favorite Android site. An endorsement from a pathological liar is not an endorsement I want. I'm funny like that, I guess.

Good news, everyone! I've got happier thoughts ahead.

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4 years ago

Hands-on breaksclusive video with a 32-gigabyte Nexus 7


Folks seem to have lost their minds a little bit over the 32-gigabyte Nexus 7 -- which remains unannounced, though Staples (always them, right?) apparently has no qualms about selling them early. So in the spirit of utter ridiculousness, here's some breakslclusive hands-on in-the-wild first-look oh-my-god-it's-full-of-stars video of the 32-gigabyte Nexus 7, courtesy of John1029 in our forums.

As should surprise no one, it's a Nexus 7. With 32 gigabytes of storage. (Actually, more like 27.5.) And that's it. It's running Android 4.1.1 out of the box, which also should surprise no one, since Android 4.1.2 just pushed over air, and these would devices would have been flashed before then. No big deal. At all. In fact, it's not even a deal. It's a non-deal.

Still, this is a decent enough walkthrough, and all snark aside, it's great to see our readers get the goods. Hit the break for the full video.

Source: Nexus 7 forums

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4 years ago

This is the Verizon HTC Droid DNA


Verizon appears poised to bring HTC's first 5-inch Android smartphone to the U.S.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the HTC DLX for Verizon, since officially named the Droid DNA. A few rumored details recently emerged about this upcoming (and as yet unannounced Android smartphone, and tonight we're able to bring you the first pictures.

The codenamed HTC DLX (pronounced like "deluxe," we're told) is notable for several reasons. For one, it will (assuming it comes to market; that's not always a given) be Verizon's first HTC One smartphone since the line was announced at Mobile World Congress way back in February in Barcelona. That the United States' largest carrier didn't pick up any of the three devices announced then has been a sore spot for months. 

Then there's the size. Along with the Japan-exclusive HTC J Butterfly, the Droid DNA marks the manufacturer's first foray into the 5-inch display category, known to some as "ridiculously large." But consider our curiosity piqued, our appetite whetted. We -- and you folks as well, we know - have been waiting on Verizon to sport new HTC kit for the better part of a year now.

Enough preamble. We've got more pictures, specs and a few thoughts after the break.

More: HTC DLX forums

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